Prevent Design Changes

As mentioned previously, InfoPath both designs and displays forms. In most cases, you won’t want your users opening forms in Design mode and tinkering with them. There are two approaches to this problem:

  • Enable form protection. This approach discourages users from changing form templates, but does not prevent them from doing so.

  • Disable Design mode on your users’ systems. This approach keeps users from changing existing form templates and prevents them from creating new ones.


Most developers don’t want to expose the inner workings of their applications to the world. InfoPath provides a limited ability to restrict that type of access to form templates.

How to enable protection

To protect a template from changes:

  1. Open the template in Design mode.

  2. Choose Tools Form Options, select Enable protection on the General page, then click OK.

Protected templates display the warning shown in Figure 7-47 if the user opens them in Design mode.

Protecting forms discourages users from changing them

Figure 7-47. Protecting forms discourages users from changing them

That’s weak protection at best, but if you sign the protected template with a digital signature, you can both discourage changes and detect changes if they are made (changes overwrite the digital signature, so the template will no longer be trusted).

How to disable design mode

A stronger solution prevents users from designing any templates. You can use the ...

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